Queensland's LNP takes aim at former Labor hopeful heading train probe
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Queensland's LNP takes aim at former Labor hopeful heading train probe

The state Opposition says voters can't trust an inquiry into Queensland's botched batch of new trains because it's headed by a man who ran as a Labor candidate for parliament almost 40 years ago.

Retired District Court judge Michael Forde stood unsuccessfully for the Labor Party in the seat of Lockyer at the 1980 state election.

Retired judge Michael Forde will head an inquiry into the Next Generation Rollingstock.

Retired judge Michael Forde will head an inquiry into the Next Generation Rollingstock.

He is due to report back to the Labor government later this year about failings that landed the state with a new fleet of commuter trains that don't meet Australia's disability access requirements.

The Opposition has accused Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk of deceiving voters by trying to hide the fact that Mr Forde was "a political appointment".

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"Annastacia Palaszczuk has corrupted the process of this inquiry by appointing a failed Labor candidate," Opposition industrial relations spokesman Jarrod Bleijie said in a statement on Friday.

"It is a protection racket to cover up that Annastacia Palaszczuk botched the procurement of these trains when she was transport minister in the Bligh government."

Former District Court judge Michael Forde (left) hands a report into Queensland's towing industry to then-acting minister for Main Roads Steven Miles (right) in August 2017.

Former District Court judge Michael Forde (left) hands a report into Queensland's towing industry to then-acting minister for Main Roads Steven Miles (right) in August 2017.Credit:AAP

The Premier announced Mr Forde's appointment last month.

Labor and the Liberal National Party have been warring over who is to blame for major flaws in the $4.4 billion commuter fleet.

The trains don't have disabled toilets and offer only limited access for wheelchairs.

Acquisition of the trains began under Anna Bligh's Labor government when the premier held the transport portfolio.

A contract was later signed off by Campbell Newman's LNP government, with the first of the Indian-made trains arriving after Labor returned to power in 2015.

Despite a ruling by the Australian Human Rights Commission that the trains couldn't be granted an exemption, the state government has continued to run them.

AAP